Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Carolyn Wolfe, Author of The Book of Tall Tales, Myth and Magic, The Moonsparrow Collection


Author Carolyn Wolfe

Name: Carolyn Wolfe
Book Title: The Moonsparrow Collection
Genre: Magical Realism
Publisher: Avid Readers Publishing Group
The Moonsparrow Collection is comprised of a tapestry of Tall Tales, Myth and Magic. This compilation of tales is the best of Ms. Wolfe's original published and unpublished Short Stories, and includes the stories that she has introduced at local public writing events and festivals.  The subject matter ranges from: A woman who turns a small town on its ear, to: a Magical midnight concert in the woods. It is a light journey into a magical world when anything can happen, and usually does


Title is available at Amazon

Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

Excerpt from The Moonsparrow Collection

 A Beltane Tale

However, if she were really truthful with herself, she knew this was about more than just singing with him. His voice enchanted her, the simplicity of him singing in the woods, pouring his heart out with each word, set up a longing in her for more than just singing with him. That was the true reason she had not approached him.

This Beltane gathering conjured up all kinds of ideas in her head. She knew Beltane was a time of romance, fertility and new beginnings and that many a relationship had it's not so humble beginnings at this time of year. She was just not quite ready for all the feelings this gathering had conjured up in her. She simply was not quite ready yet, at least that's what she told herself.

Truck Stop Virgin

Brandy was quite a looker, the nearest thing to a sin in an unmarried woman, at least the women think so. Men are a bit more forgiving about that particular fault. Even so, everyone could tell just by looking at Brandy that this gal was trouble!

Mark U. Rye
This does not have any dragons or sword and sorcery, as a matter of fact it is more of a tall tale, but I think you just might recognize the main character, even if he is in disguise..... his name is the clue....

His name was Mark Rye, well actually, he would introduce himself far more formally then his deeply creased jeans would have suggested.  Mark U. Rye, he would grin, with a grin that sticks to you like warm oatmeal swallowed on an extra cold day.  The U. was for Ulysses, a name he was extremely proud of and never did he have the hesitation that some folks have about their middle, and somewhat old fashioned names.

Mark called himself a communicator, although his busted old guitar hardly seemed to command that sort of respectability, at least not at first sight.  But oh, that boy could make it sing with nine tongues and all of them golden!
Read the full excerpt at the author’s website
 
Interview
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Is this your first book?
Carolyn:
No, however this is my first book of short stories. I love the short story genre, to create a universe full of characters and yet have it be a very short journey, is both challenging and a lot of fun. My others books include a line of children’s picture books, The Unhappy Little Dragon and The Bedtime of the Sky and The Drowsy House .  

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Carolyn:
I published it through a wonderful Publisher as an Indie author. In other words, the Publisher helped me format, publish and print my book, but I was in control of the process.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Carolyn:
I love being an independent author, publishing through a small publisher- Avid Readers Publishing Group. We work as a team, co-creating the process of putting my book together. I also love working with Illustrators on my children’s books and find them easy to work with, and very gifted. I am also one of a group of authors (I am not an Indie writer for them) with another Publisher in England- MoonRose Publishing. It is wonderful to be a part of a community of writers that support each others work, share frustrations, and motivate each other! I would recommend both ways of getting your work out there.  I did a great deal of research and made my share of mistakes before finding, what for me is the perfect balance.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Carolyn:
I have learned to be very wary of scams. I have fallen for a few along the way and it is a hard way to learn a lesson. I now read a great deal of “watchdog” blogs such as “Writer Beware”. I believe the publishing  world is changing very fast. Of course, when I first started submitting my work, in the late 1970’s- I was submitting it through the mail, with a self-addressed stamped envelope included, so that my work could be sent back to me. I poured over my Library copy of “The Writer’s Market” looking for publishers to send my work to and instead of a computer, I typed all of my work on a Selectric Typewriter! We’ve come a long way since then!!!!
I think that the Publishing industry is opening up considerably and it is no longer a stigma to be an Independent Author. As a matter of fact, I believe it is a terrific opportunity to let the public decide what they want to read, rather than have it filtered from a narrow  and perhaps somewhat elitist group of companies that tell the public what they should be reading.
I am happy with the changes that have occurred and believe that this is just the beginning.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Carolyn:
Yes, I would. I think that after a writer does their research, they will be able to find the publishing process that works best for them. I would highly recommend that an author keep control over their work and over the process of how they want their book to be out there in the world.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Carolyn:
  I would say to an aspiring author-research, research, research! There is so much information about writing, marketing and getting your work out there as an Independent author.  There are also lots of scams and expensive vanity presses that will eat up all of your money and deliver very little. Be aware of all of your options and research the publisher before committing to anything. It is a Buyer Beware market out there for Indie Publishers, but it is also very rewarding when you find the perfect process and publishing match, for your book!  Don’t give up and don’t give away all of your savings! There is the right publisher for your book out there, and if you would prefer, you can do it all yourself! Just believe in what you are doing and you will be a very happy author!
Carolyn Wolfe is a free-lance writer, published poet, and author of eight books, which range from poetry to fantasy and includes children's literature. Her body of work includes writing articles for newspapers and newsletters, and hosting poetry events in the Winchester area.

Her books include two poetry books "Notes From The Shadow Self" and "WhenThe Moon Speaks", a collection of original light fantasy stories titled "The Moonsparrow Collection" and four children's books "The Bedtime Of The Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories", The Unhappy Little Dragon Lessons Begin" and "The Unhappy Little Dragon, Lessons Learned" and “The Drowsy House“.  

Her newest fantasy/romance novella, "Blades's Magic" is a sword and sorcery adventure for an adult readership. Wolfe lives in Winchester VA with her Husband Scott and many animal companions. Please visit her website

  
Carolyn Wolfe's Children's Books 




 
  
Carolyn Wolfe's Children's Book    

Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Subhash Kommuru, Author of the Children's Picture Book Chatur

The husband and wife team of Kommuru Books 
Subhash and Sujata hail from India. They migrated to the United States along with their memories of childhood and youth. Now that they are parents, just like every immigrant they crave to introduce their child to the culture and values of their upbringing. Yet it is challenging to teach something while you are in the midst of adjusting to a different culture yourself. Subhash and Sujata both work in different disciplines and have different styles and backgrounds, but it is the upbringing of their son that brings them on the same page. That exact place where they meet is captured and reflected in their stories, where Subhash can express in words, and Sujata can illustrate them beautifully. Where he puts it in black and white, she adds color to it. You get the idea! These stories are their attempt to share a glimpse of their childhood days with their son. He is their inspiration to write short stories that have meaning to them and provide teaching in some shape or form.




Name: Subhash and Sujata Kommuru
Book Title: Chatur (Hindi)
Genre: Children’s Fiction Picture Book
Publisher: Kommuru Books
Title is available at Amazon

Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble


Hello Subhash,
Chatur Book Tour
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Subhash: Thank for your giving me the opportunity to share my opinion on your distinctive blog and exceptional readers and besides all the other great authors visiting here. I migrated to US from India and brought with me memories of land rich in culture and beliefs. For as long as me and wife were by ourselves we never took a moment to think about our cultural heritage and our values. But once we had Arya, our son, our perspective changed. He was growing up fast and seeing American culture all around him. That’s when we realized that there is a treasure called “India” which he is not exposed to and will never get to know unless we do something about this. Sure you can take him to local gatherings, temples, celebrate one of two festivals but that simply is not enough. Kids learn a lot from many different channels, One of those most effective channel is books. For Arya any time is story time, no matter how sad or how mad he is a book can always come to rescue.
So that got me into making up stories and morals that we have learned as a kid and narrate those stories to him. But I had to pick up a pen when he started to demand that I tell the same stories over and over again and use same immersive words every single time. So I decided to pick up a pen and start writing something with cultural significance, something that he cannot learn anywhere else and put it on paper so every time I read it will be exactly the same.
Is this your first book?
Subhash: My first book is Bargad it was released in 2013. Bargad is also a very special story which goes beyond a traditional story. Bargad has many arcs to keep kids and adults alike entertained throughout the book. It also enlightens a cultural tradition and links it to nature and how simple traditions can help protect nature. I can go on and on about Bargad but that would only bring nostalgia in me. Chatur (Hindi) is going to be my second published book in Hindi and by no means last J
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Subhash: I am a self-published author and feel very good about using this channel. I am a father and for me the idea behind writing a book is not really to be a box office success but instead a simple attempt to reach to my son and kids like him who can appreciate diversity and a flavorful story. It’s not about doing any kind of market research and thinking like a kid and then determining oh, may be race is the theme to connect with kids or throw in some slang that would get me to New York Times best seller. None of that jazz.
It’s plain and simple, think of a moral or an issue that you want to bring to kid and then decorate it with words and put it in story format.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Subhash: This is not for the one with faint heart… ok I am kidding. Just like anything else in life you have to like what you are doing and enjoy doing it. This is a time consuming process but a rewarding one. Of course your definition of reward needs to be firm and realistic. It’s thrilling to see your work in print and know that your opinion has been voiced. Once you start having fun on this road then it’s hard to stop. You get consumed by it and can easily lose track of everything else.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Subhash: It’s a fun filled experience. There are lots of kind people willing to help and offering help. All you need to do is ask for it. So don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help and at the same time be careful there are tons of crooks out there too who prey on aspiring authors.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Subhash: Absolutely yes. I would encourage more and more people to do this. Books need more content and a story needs to be told. There is a story in everyone. You never know how your message is being received and what impact can it make on readers. Your goal should be keep it positive and encouraging you will be amazed of how reader interprets it and gets out of it.  Just as an example, one of my book ‘The Magic of Friendship’ has a theme of diversity and friendship and one of the young readers thought it said about people having different talent and how they can use it for larger good. Chatur has a humorous theme with a subtle message and my young readers not only have a laugh but towards the end connect with each character and sympathize with them. One reader said that she likes the elephant a lot.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Subhash: First thing is to start writing and write it from your heart. Put your soul in it and get best out of your own content. One thing I believe plagues more than anything else is competition, its good and healthy but from outset if you keep your focus on that you will lose objective and run behind an elusive figure. Instead set your own goals and chase that goal, you will get there and that too in style. Keep smiling and produce great content and please do pick up a copy of Chatur and read it to your kids.


 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Andrew Cratsley, author of Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows

A native of Honeoye, New York, Andrew Cratsley lives in North Carolina. Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows is his debut novel. Cratsley is a lifelong fan of fantasy books, films, and RPG-style gaming.  A champion of literacy issues and proud supporter of the World Literacy Foundation, Cratsley will donate a portion of the proceeds from Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows to the World Literacy Foundation’s fight against illiteracy.


Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Andy: This story has been in the works for many years. I was inspired to follow through with it by one of my teachers long ago. Since I was unable to put the encouragement out of my mind I put forth the effort and loved it more with each revision.

Is this your first book?

Andy: This is the first of my five book series, Keepers of Runes.

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Andy: I decided to self publish since the industry strongly prefers working with already established authors.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Andy: It’s a challenging road but an exciting one. My work has been polished many times during my literary studies, and learning the ins and outs of publishing has been educational as well.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Andy: Don’t let the major publishing houses discourage you from sharing your talent with the world. There are many wonderful authors out there who are never given a chance. I encourage anyone who enjoys a good book to join goodreads and find these excellent books, as well as meet their creators.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Andy: Self-publishing has a lot of advantages. It gives you total control over the editing, format, and artwork of the book. The thought of my vision being altered by others is something I would like to avoid.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Andy: Keep writing and listen carefully to your feedback.

About the Book

An extraordinary coming-of-age fantasy tale written by a dynamic new voice in the world of fantasy, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows has garnered high advance praise.  Kirkus Reviews notes that Cratsley “believably and authentically develop[s] his characters” and calls the book a “promising debut.”  In a Clarion Review, ForeWord Reviews reports that Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows “has all the color, imagination, and drama one might expect from the genre as well as emotional depth.”  Moreover, the review states that the book’s “fast pace and gaming-style characteristics may appeal to more reluctant readers and inspire future fantasy enthusiasts.”

About Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows:  At 120 years old, Corinth is young by elf standards.  But even as a young elf, Corinth is haunted by his sordid past. When he emerges from his solitude within the eternal forest around Enzlintine, Corinth is sent away to quell the troubled region plagued by Khalid, the Lord of Conquest.  But this will be a journey like no other. Corinth bands together with two curious companions—the human ranger Aventis and the oh-so-spirited Nadine—until the trio is captured by an insidious necromancer, Mortiscet. A vile dark elf who forces the group to help his daughter Rieka find a mysterious object, Mortiscet thrusts the group into increasingly dangerous circumstances. Can Rieka escape the clutches of her wicked and overbearing patriarch?  And what will happen when the group launches towards a frigid wasteland in search of the bane of the evil that stalks them?  On this perilous journey, they’ll have to battle assassins, ominous creatures and the forces of Khalid. Expect the unexpected—because sometimes, the best intentions come from the darkest recesses of the heart... 

A splendid and magical tale with a captivating storyline, extraordinary characters and a plot brimming with action, intrigue and adventure, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows is a fascinating read that captivates from page one. Resplendent with characters that come to life within the novel’s pages, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows is a beautifully-written, imaginative, and inventive tale.  With its strong central female characters, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows offers a refreshing diversion from fantasy tales that focus largely on male protagonists and male supporting characters.  

A mesmerizing work of fantasy geared towards young adults, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows will also appeal to adult readers of fantasy, as well as fans of such fantasy classics such as The Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter series.  According to Pacific Book Review, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows has aspects to entice most any reader, whether lover of fantasy or not…. readers of fantasy will delight in Cratsley’s work.”




Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Bestselling Author Donna Galanti

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonnaGalanti

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Donna:
I started writing books from grief after my mom died. It healed me. It comforted me. And eventually my grief turned to peace and then joy at discovering what I love to do. Write stories and create characters to love (and hate).


I knew the biggest tribute to my mom would be to write the book idea I came up with seventeen years ago. It came to me in a vision one day driving to work. I wrote the first two chapters and shelved it for over a decade. My mom was the first person I shared it with, and I started writing it again after her death and that became my debut novel, A Human Element, book one in the Element Trilogy. One day soon after I woke up with a vision for book two, A Hidden Element, and wrote the first chapter.

Is this your first book?
Donna:
No, this is the second book in the Element Trilogy to be published.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Donna:
A Hidden Element is being released through a wonderful Canadian small press, Imajin Books, run by bestselling author, Cheryl Kae Tardif, an acclaimed author and marketing force. I knew I wanted to go through a small press and one with marketing chops, and I was so lucky that Imajin Books not only picked up book two in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element, but also picked up book 1, A Human Element, and just re-released that this summer!
I acquired a literary agent for my children’s books (the first two books in my fantasy series Joshua and the Lightning Road debuts in 2015), but wanted to stay small press for my adult books. I like the personal interaction and attention with a small press, and also the speed of the editorial, design, and publishing process. Traditional publishing can take up to two years to get to print, this is something I wanted to do for my children’s books to have them release in hard cover with more exposure to librarians and brick-and-mortar bookstores.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Donna:
I like to consider myself a hybrid author. I have self-published (my short story collection, The Dark Inside, is about characters in the Element Trilogy), been published with a small press, and am now being represented by an agent in the traditional publishing vein. My author journey has been a journey of exploration. Being an author isn’t a one-stop journey with a final destination. It’s many journeys with different destinations. And we should never stop journeying as a writer, for in doing that we learn what we most desire – and the best path to take to becoming an author.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Donna:
Every road I’ve taken the last five years has led to the next and the next and the next…many times those roads

weren’t paved, they were forged instantly from taking a risk. When I finished writing my debut novel, I knew I needed to meet other writers. Within a month I joined a writers organization, went to my first writing workshop, and my first writing conference where I pitched my debut novel there, A Human Element, and it got accepted by a small press.

While my debut novel was published with another small press, I was lucky to get my rights back this year and breathe new life into it by having it re-branded with the sequel by my new publisher, Imajin Books. Yes, there are second chances even in the publishing world!

And I don’t regret any of the lessons learned along the way as they all add to my toolkit on the writing craft and business world. My first publisher for my debut novel may not have been the ideal experience, but it opened many doors for me as it enabled me to become an International Thriller Writers Debut Author. In that role, I presented my novel at ThrillerFest and made many wonderful connections with legendary, bestselling, and other debut authors that have enriched my path as a writer. They’ve mentored me and shared advice and even blurbed my books. There is a great sense of camaraderie and pay-it-forward among writers. We want all writers to succeed. This isn’t a competition. J

Most importantly along the way what I learned is that while we may write alone, we can’t get published alone. We have to get out of our comfort zone and take risks to keep moving forward to make our author dream come true, in the face of great adversity.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Donna:
It’s an exciting time to be an author, that’s for sure, with so many roads to take. The best recommendation I can give is to explore, learn, become part of a writing community, and along the way you will discover the best publishing path for yourself. There is no one best path for everyone as we are all unique in our desires, needs, and dreams. Many authors find success by doing both traditional and independent publishing.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Donna:
Just. Let. Go. Let go – of your ego that is. Accept constructive criticism and be open to improving your writing. I truly believe this is the biggest reason why I now have a wonderful agent as my champion and I have four books coming out in the next year with two wonderful publishers. And this is the biggest reason I see writer’s fail because they do not accept criticism and are not willing to do the hard work to make their writing better.

To succeed you cannot think your writing is perfect or that first draft is perfect or that your story can’t change. You cannot take it personal when a developmental editor tears apart your manuscript for you to re-work. This writing business is hard. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. This writing business is not going to be easy – it’s going to be worth it. For advice, inspiration, and tips on the writing craft and industry visit my Writer’s Corner.

ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT, NOW AN AMAZON BESTSELLER!:


Evil lurks within…

When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?

PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:
"Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world." —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall

"Fascinating…a haunting story…"—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

"Will keep you up long past your bedtime...a pulse-pounding read."—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector

BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:
Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o

Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element:
http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO
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